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The Best Havarti Cheese Substitute List: We Have 13

Havarti cheese is known for its amazing flavor and texture. It works in many dishes – from sandwiches and potato dishes to pizza and casseroles. However, you may not always have Havarti cheese on hand.

Having said that, here are some of the best substitutes for Havarti cheese that you can use, depending on the dish you are preparing.

  1. Cheddar Cheese
  2. Comte Cheese
  3. Gouda Cheese
  4. Colby
  5. Fontina Cheese
  6. Saint Paulin
  7. Emmental Cheese

Before we discuss the alternatives available, let us understand more about the origins of this cheese.

13 Best Substitute for Havarti Cheese

Havarti Cheese Substitute

A semisoft type of Danish cheese, Havarti cheese is buttery and very smooth. It has a distinct flavor, appearance and texture. It is also slightly sweet, and this makes it stand out from other types of cheese.

White in color and quite creamy, Havarti cheese was developed in Havarthigaard, an experimental farm. It got its name from the name of the farm. Havarti cheese is a popular cooking ingredient, but it is also ideal as a snacking cheese.

Havarti cheese is buttery and very smooth. It is semi-soft, and has a distinct flavor, appearance and texture.

Create a wonderful charcuterie board by slicing up some Havarti cheese – perfect to serve with crackers and wine. You can even grill it. Even without pairing with anything, you can enjoy Havarti cheese on its own.

Because of its creamy nature, many people think it is among the best cheeses to use for fondue. While it is unique, it is also quite versatile. What about its flavor? Well, it is a bit on the sharp side.

Havarti cheese comes with a buttery aroma and its sharp flavor can be very direct sometimes. You can compare its sharpness to Swiss cheese. Take a bite and you’ll experience something smooth and buttery with just a little hint of sweetness.

The sweetness of your Havarti cheese may depend in its variety as well as the way it was made. However, it will always have a certain level of sweetness. It is also a bit acidic. 

Havarti cheese ages around three months or more. As it ages, it acquires a hint of saltiness and hazelnut flavors. Thus, the aging process can affect the overall flavor and texture of the cheese.

Let’s discuss the Havarti cheese alternatives in more detail to help you decide which one to use for your particular dish.

Cheddar Cheese


While cheddar cheese is quite common and versatile, not a lot of people know that it has many qualities that are similar to Havarti cheese.

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For one, cheddar has a solid earthy flavor that develops some hints of tart when it ages. When aged, cheddar also develops a stronger flavor compared to Havarti cheese.

Cheddar cheese is super versatile and commonly used. However, not many people are aware that it shares many qualities with Havarti cheese.

Aside from its more intense flavor, its texture is also firmer than Havarti. However, this isn’t a major issue since cheddar melts well, and becomes buttery and creamy like Havarti.

When used to replace Havarti cheese, the substitution ratio to use is 1:1.

Comte Cheese

A traditional French cheese, Comte cheese comes with a complex flavor similar to Havarti cheese. This makes Comte a natural alternative to Havarti cheese in many recipes.

Comte has a buttery and salty taste. As it ages, it develops an earthy and nutty flavor reminiscent of Havarti cheese. Also, like Havarti, Comte is semi-hard and has a similar texture.

Thus, you won’t have any problem using it as a substitute in dishes like fondue, cheese boards, and sandwiches, among others.

Gouda Cheese

gouda cheese

A semi-soft cheese alternative to Havarti, Gouda cheese comes from Denmark. It has the same texture, appearance, origin and taste as Havarti cheese.

Both Havarti and Gouda have a nutty and earthy flavor that comes with a sweet aftertaste. Both cheeses also share the same pale yellow color and texture. Having a bite of either cheese will make you experience a smooth, buttery mouthfeel.

Gouda is a good substitute for Havarti in fondue, cheese plates, pasta, and sandwiches, among others. However, take note that Gouda may tend to be a little sweeter than Havarti. The ideal substitution ratio to use is 1:1.


The preferred Havarti substitute by many people, Colby is indeed an excellent alternative to Havarti cheese. It melts well, and offers a great cheddar-like flavor.

Colby has a yellow color, and its versatility is beyond your normal cheese. You can use it in practically all kinds of recipes, including casseroles, breakfast dishes, sandwiches, and many others.

When using Colby as a Havarti cheese substitute, go for a 1:1 ratio.

Fontina Cheese


A popular Italian cheese, Fontina cheese comes in different textures ranging from semi-soft to firm and hard. As a substitute for Havarti, you can use it in soup, chowder, sauce, or pasta recipes.

Compared to Havarti cheese, Fontina’s flavor is milder. However, like Havarti, Fontina also has a salty flavor that slowly turns nuttier and more savory with age.

Because of their similar flavor profiles, Havarti and Fontina can be interchanged easily. In addition, they share almost the same creamy and buttery taste. They also both melt very well.

Saint Paulin

Next on the list of Havarti cheese substitutes is Saint Paulin. The French cheese may be a bit more difficult to source, but once you find it, you’ll definitely love it.

Slightly aged, Saint Paulin has a texture that is quite close to Havarti. It is semi-soft, you can slice and melt it, and use in various ways just like Havarti cheese.

Because it is slightly aged, expect Saint Paulin to have a deeper overall flavor. While it may not be as sharp as Havarti, the difference will be minimal.

You will get the same buttery and creamy texture, but with a richer flavor and without the sweetness. Havarti’s popular sharp and sweet flavor is tweaked a bit.

While Saint Paulin is popular for cheese boards and other similar applications, it can melt nicely when the recipe calls for it. Saint Paulin can replace Havarti on a 1:1 ratio.

Emmental Cheese

Emmental Cheese

A traditional type of Swiss cheese, Emmental cheese, also known as Emmentaler, shares a lot of similarities with Havarti cheese. Emmental is a semi-soft type of cheese with an earthy and nutty taste.

It emits fruity tones, and it has a smooth and buttery mouthfeel that is almost like that of Havarti.

Emmental cheese is ideal for use in fondue and cheese boards. It is also great as a Havarti substitute in dishes like pasta, sandwiches, soups, sauces, and many others.

Gruyere Cheese

This is probably one of the closest Havarti substitutes that you can use. Gruyere is a traditional Swiss type of cheese that is quite versatile and comes with a flavor profile that can be described as complex.

Gruyere cheese is a famous semi-soft cheese with a strong aroma and taste that is earthy, nutty, and salty. Like Havarti, Gruyere also offers a touch of sweetness.

A great Havarti cheese replacement in cheese plates, Gruyere is also blessed with superb melting properties. And this makes the cheese an ideal option to use for various dishes.

Edam Cheese


Edam cheese is a savory, semi-hard cheese that works great as a replacement to Havarti cheese in certain dishes. It also has a buttery, creamy, and smooth texture.

But the best part of Edam cheese is that as it ages, it develops an earthier and nuttier taste that is comparable to Havarti cheese. It likewise melts nicely.

To achieve the best possible taste when using Edam, pair it with various fruits. You can likewise use it as a Havarti substitute in cheese boards and dishes such as sandwiches, and wine and crackers.

When aged, the taste of Edam cheese can be likened to caramelized hazelnuts and butter, and this makes it a great choice for a Havarti cheese substitute. Use the 1:1 substitution ratio when using Edam in lieu of Havarti cheese.

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Tilsit Cheese

While Tilsit cheese is closer to Emmental in terms of origins than Havarti cheese, it is nevertheless an excellent alternative to Havarti because of its similar complex flavor.

Just like Havarti, Tilsit cheese has an earthy and nutty flavor with a creamy and buttery texture. In addition, it also comes with a tangy and spicy aroma and aftertaste.

Like Havarti cheese, Tilsit cheese comes in a pale yellow color. While it is ideally used in cheese boards, you can also use Tilsit in soup, fondue, and sandwich recipes. When substituting for Havarti cheese, the ideal ratio to use is 1:1.

Monterey Jack Cheese


Monterey Jack cheese may not be like the other, more obvious alternatives for Havarti on this list. However, this cheese shares a lot of similar traits to Havarti. The two are, in fact, similar in practically all aspects – except texture.

Monterey Jack is sharp and buttery. It also comes with a touch of sweetness, just like Havarti. They also have the same pale yellow appearance and are both excellent melting cheeses.

Perhaps the only big difference between Havarti and Monterey Jack is that the latter is harder. However, if you are looking for a Havarti substitute that is easy to find, and with the same interesting and layered taste, then Monterey Jack may be your best option.

Go for a 1:1 substitution ratio when using Monterey Jack in place of Havarti cheese.

Esrom Cheese

Similar to Havarti, Esrom is also a semi-soft cheese with and earthy and nutty flavor that becomes more intense when aged. The pale yellow-colored cheese is from Denmark.

Esrom has Havarti’s mild fruity aroma and aftertaste, although Esrom tends to be a bit sweeter in the taste department. Esrom is a good choice to use in cheeseboards, or to serve with fruits, bread, and crackers.

You can likewise include Esrom cheese in soup, sauce, sandwich, and fondue recipes. To replace Havarti in recipes, use the 1:1 substitution ratio.

Swiss Cheese


Swiss cheese is affordable, and you can easily find it in most grocery stores. Its semi-soft texture and great flavor makes it ideal for use in most recipes that require Havarti cheese.

Whether you are filling a charcuterie board, making a Panini, or preparing mac and cheese, a great substitute for Havarti that you can use is Swiss cheese. The recommended substitution ratio is 1:1.